In Baltimore City
Number of cases of syphilis drops by 25 percent
The number of syphilis cases in Baltimore dropped again last year, continuing a drastic decline for a sexually transmitted disease that had reached epidemic levels in the city five years ago.
Last year, Baltimore posted 161 cases, a 25 percent decline from 2000, and a 76 percent drop from 1997, when cases hit their peak, according to Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, city health commissioner. The improvement stems from a series of steps, including hiring additional physicians and staff to do screening and target outbreaks, as well as testing inmates at the city's Central Booking and Intake Center.
This year, Beilenson also plans to build on an education campaign by posting "Stop Syphilis" signs with information on Maryland Transit Administration buses and in Metro subway stations. To receive free testing or to get information: 410-396-4448.
Whitworth to be sentenced May 23 for killing officer
Howard "Wee" Whitworth, convicted Monday of first-degree murder for firing a bullet into Officer Michael J. Cowdery's head on an East Baltimore street last year, will be sentenced May 23.
Prosecutors say they will seek life in prison without parole for Whitworth, 27, who was convicted on eight counts, including weapons and drugs charges, as well as attempted first-degree murder for trying to kill Cowdery's partner, Detective Ronald A. Beverly.
Beverly was shot in both legs while chasing Cowdery's killer. Cowdery, 31, was ambushed in March 2001 as he and other plainclothes officers conducted field interviews. Whitworth shot Cowdery in the leg from 10 to 15 feet away, then walked over to him, put a .357 magnum to his head and fired one shot.
Police investigate east-side fatal shooting
Baltimore police detectives are investigating a fatal shooting yesterday afternoon in the Ellwood Park/Monument section of East Baltimore.
Police responded about 3 p.m. to a report of at least one gunshot fired in the 600 block of N. Linwood Ave. near Patterson Park. They arrived and found a man lying in the street, suffering from a gunshot wound. The unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
No arrests have been made and no motive is known. Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call Detective Robert Cherry at 410-396-2100.
Grand jury indicts man in fatal shooting of brother
Clarence Moore, 19, was indicted yesterday by a Baltimore City grand jury in the fatal shooting of his brother.
John Beckford, 24, of the 5100 block of Cordelia Ave. was shot March 8 at Moore's apartment in the 1700 block of Gwynns Falls Parkway.
Police said the two were arguing at 2:30 a.m. when Beckford was shot several times. Moore, who was arrested at the scene, is being held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and using a handgun. His arraignment is scheduled for May 2.
2 teens indicted in death of Patterson High wrestler
A Baltimore grand jury indicted two teens yesterday in the fatal shooting last month of Kevan Fletcher, a 17-year-old Patterson High School student and standout wrestler.
Fletcher was killed in his home in the 2500 block of Orleans St. on March 11. Michael Lowe, 18, and Norman Francis, 14, were indicted on charges of first-degree murder in Fletcher's death and attempted murder in the shooting of Marshall Timothy Williams of the 100 block of Lakewood Ave. Both shootings occurred March 11 but were not related, according to authorities. The defendants will be arraigned April 30.
Fletcher joined the school's varsity wrestling team two years ago and qualified for the state tournament both years. This season, he was the second-best wrestler in city high schools in the 152-pound class.
Traffic restrictions set for transformer move
Parking restrictions and temporary street closures in the city will be in effect from 9 o'clock tonight to 5 a.m. tomorrow to allow the movement of an oversized transformer for Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. The combined weight of the tractor-trailer and the transformer is 271 tons, making it the heaviest load ever moved thorugh the city, said Adrienne D. Barnes, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation.
Beginning at Clinton Street in Southeast Baltimore, the route to its destination in Reisterstown, Baltimore County, will include Boston Street, Pulaski Highway, Pratt Street, Howard Street, McCulloh Street and Northern Parkway to the city line, where the state police will escort it.
Signs advising motorists of detours, street closings and temporary restricted parking will be displayed.
In Baltimore County
Lane closures planned during Phoenix road repair
PHOENIX - The State Highway Administration is repairing and resurfacing Route 146 (Jarrettsville Pike) between Dulaney Valley Road and Blenheim Road.
The $259,000 project began yesterday and is expected to be completed by late spring.
Single-lane closures may occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays.
Agency seeks volunteers for nursing home program
TOWSON - The Baltimore County Department of Aging is seeking volunteers for its nursing home ombudsman program.
Training sessions for volunteers will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 15, 22 and 24, and from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 17. Volunteers must complete all four sessions.
Volunteers must be 21 or older, able to visit a nursing home for two to four hours a week and willing to make a six-month commitment to the program. Information: 410- 887-4200.